PBS NewsHour Reports on Restoring Damaged Art Treasures in Florence

A restorer works on a panel of Giorgio Vasari's 'Last Supper' at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy. Photo credit: Frank Carlson

A restorer works on a panel of Giorgio Vasari’s ‘Last Supper’ at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy. Photo credit: Frank Carlson

Washington, DC (October 26, 2015) – Florence is a city known for its art treasures. But a 1966 flood that left the city underwater had devastating consequences for the people of Florence, and the many works of art located there. More than thirty people died in the disastrous flood, and thousands of priceless works of art and manuscripts were damaged or destroyed.

Over the last 50 years, many of the damaged works have been returned, not yet including: “L’ultima cena,” or “The Last Supper” by Giorgio Vasari. The damage to this particular piece was extensive, requiring special restoration methods. Opificio delle Pietre Dure, an institute of art preservation and reservation, has taken on the massive responsibility of restoring Vasari’s famous work back to its original form.

Tonight on the PBS NewsHour (check local listings) as part of our “Culture at Risk” series, chief correspondent for arts and culture Jeffrey Brown reports on the impact of the 1966 flood’s damage to the city, efforts to restore the “L’ultima cena,” and work being done to reconcile damages to precious works of art at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

PBS NewsHour’s “Culture at Risk” series is funded by the J. Paul Getty Trust. View our previous “Culture at Risk” segments here.

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